MULLANE v. ALMON et al
ORDER ACCEPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION. The report and recommendation, ECF No. 34 , is accepted and adopted, over the Plaintiff's objections, as this Courts opinion. Defendants motion to dismiss, ECF No. 14 , is GRANTE D. The Clerk shall enter judgment stating, "Plaintiff's claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff's claims for damages are DISMISSED with prejudice because Defendants are entitled to quasi-judicial immunity." The Clerk shall close the file. Signed by CHIEF JUDGE MARK E WALKER on 05/10/2022. (rcb) Modified on 5/10/2022 (rcb).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No.: 4:21cv164-MW/MJF
JAMES ALMON and MICHELLE
ORDER ACCEPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
This Court has considered, without hearing, the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation, ECF No. 34, and has also reviewed de novo Plaintiff’s objections,
ECF No. 41, and attachments, as well as the Defendants’ response, ECF No. 44.
In a transparent attempt to circumvent Younger abstention, Plaintiff has
withdrawn his bar application. ECF No. 41 at 2 (“The Younger abstention issue is
now moot; the state-court proceeding was subsequently withdrawn and terminated
following the entry of the R&R[.]”); see also ECF No. 40 at 12 (letter notifying
Defendants that Plaintiff has withdrawn his application for admission to the Florida
Bar). However, this Court does not countenance such gamesmanship. Moreover, it
is a losing tactic.
Younger abstention still applies in this case, because the state judicial
proceedings were ongoing at the date of filing of the federal complaint. See Henry
v. Fla. Bar, 701 F. App’x 878, 882 (11th Cir. 2017) (citing Liedel v. Juvenile Court
of Madison Cty., Ala., 891 F.2d 1542, 1546 n.6 (11th Cir. 1990). Plus, Plaintiff’s
withdrawal of his bar application appears to have mooted his claims for prospective
relief as there is no longer a live controversy or ongoing harm that this Court can
address through declaratory or injunctive relief.
In addition, Plaintiff’s withdrawal of his bar application does nothing to
change the Magistrate Judge’s correct conclusion that Defendants are entitled to
quasi-judicial immunity from Plaintiff’s claims for damages. See Sparks v.
Character and Fitness Comm. of Kentucky, 859 F.2d 428 (6th Cir. 1988); see also
Diaz v. Moore, 861 F. Supp. 1041, 1049 (N.D. Fla. 1994).
IT IS ORDERED:
The report and recommendation, ECF No. 34, is accepted and adopted, over
the Plaintiff’s objections, as this Court’s opinion. Defendants’ motion to dismiss,
ECF No. 14, is GRANTED. The Clerk shall enter judgment stating, “Plaintiff’s
claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are DISMISSED without prejudice.
Plaintiff’s claims for damages are DISMISSED with prejudice because Defendants
are entitled to quasi-judicial immunity.” The Clerk shall close the file.
SO ORDERED on May 10, 2022.
s/Mark E. Walker
Chief United States District Judge
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